Defending champions CSKA Moscow began their title defence with a 2-2 draw at Ural Yekaterinburg on Wednesday.
CSKA took a first half lead through Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa, who fired home from seven metres after latching on to Georgy Shchennikov's right-handed cross.
Ural was playing their first ever match in the Russian Premier League, and the newcomers picked up steam and drew level through striker Spartak Gogniev, who scored from 22 metres three minutes after the restart.
In the 78th minute Gogniev lifted Ural 2-1 up, shooting from the edge of the six-yard box with the cross from the right delivered by midfielder Andrey Gorbanets.
But with five minutes left, CSKA were back on even terms when their Brazilian forward Vagner Love headed Swedish teammate Rasmus Elm's cross past Ural goalkeeper Yevgeny Pomazan.
Another CSKA Swede, Pontus Velnbloom, had a clear chance to secure victory for the Muscovites in injury time, but his close-range header was parried by Pomazan.
"We are still not in our best form at the beginning of the season," CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said. "Besides a set of our first-choice players are on the injury list.
"However, today we looked fresh enough and managed to save the day and had a good chance to win in injury time. I'd say that the draw was the fair and logical result of today's match."
Viktor Faizulin lifted Zenit 1-0 up after 22 minutes, sending home a rebound after forward Alexander Bukharov's initial shot bounced back off the woodwork.
Zenit's Portuguese midfielder Miguel Danny doubled the advantage in the 36th minute, also scoring off a rebound from close range.
Uruguayan forward Mauricio Pereyra reduced the deficit right after the break, beating Zenit keeper Yury Lodygin with a close-range volley, but Zenit held on to pick up all the points.